Shortly after the tragic shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, school administrators and state lawmakers implemented different strategies to address and reduce gun violence in their respective districts.
Legislators in North Carolina responded to the incident by allowing teachers to be armed and carry their firearms into their classrooms.
The teachers would be the first line of defense against a potential shooting incident and serve to deter potential shooting incidents.
The Washington Examiner reports North Carolina legislators are revisiting the issue and are looking to provide those teachers with a raise.
From the report:
North Carolina state legislators introduced a bill that would give trained public school teachers who carry weapons a 5 percent raise.
The effort by Republicans in the state Senate is aimed at teachers who have basic police training and are called in the bill “teacher resource officers,” who would be allowed to carry firearms on school premises both openly and concealed and would have greatly expanded citizen arrest powers, similar to police officers’.
President Trump revived the debate over arming teachers following the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. A Federal Commission on School Safety recommended in December that districts consider having staff carry firearms.
“State Sen. Warren Daniel, who is one of the lead sponsors of the School Security Act of 2019, says that the bill would allow schools to use resources it already has at its disposal to increase security measures,” the Washington Examiner continues. “While according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction most state public schools have at least one armed and trained resource officer, Daniel says that the hiring and maintenance of a resource officer is too expensive for some school districts.”
The idea of allowing teachers to be armed acts as a cheaper substitute for hiring a full-time school resource officer, the state senator said.
“It’s extremely costly to put a school resource officer in every school … and there’s a great shortage of the number of applicants to law enforcement agencies. This bill is an attempt to bridge that gap,” Daniel said.
The News Observer reports a similar bill was voted down in a committee last year:
The School Security Act of 2019, filed Wednesday, would boost the salaries of teachers who underwent specialized police training to carry firearms on campus. The same bill was filed last year and died in committee, but Sen. Jerry Tillman, one of the new sponsors of Senate Bill 192, said that the climate has changed to give the legislation more support this year.
“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Tillman, the Senate majority whip and a Republican from Randolph County. “With the heightened awareness of the legislature, I believe this bill will see success.”
The bill’s two other primary sponsors are Republican senators Ralph Hise and Warren Daniel.
Last week, the School Self-Defense Act was filed in the state House to allow for armed teachers but would not pay them extra for taking on that responsibility. The bill had also been filed last year and died in committee.